Three Mistakes Women Make In The Workplace

Companies with women leaders at the helm are often more successful. An S&P Global Markets Intelligence Study shows that public companies with women CEOs or CFOs are more profitable and produced better stock market performance than many companies with men in the C-suite.

Female leaders are also more effective in crisis situations. According to a Harvard Business Review study, women leaders were more effective both before and during the pandemic. Women outscored men on nearly all leadership competencies, including taking initiative, inspiring others and making decisions.

Female leaders also tend to have more engaged teams, with their direct reports saying they feel cared for and listened to. Despite all signs pointing to women contributing significantly in many diverse ways in the workplace, women sometimes inadvertently slow their professional growth.

Alaina Love, CEO of Purpose Linked Consulting, says it often comes down to women’s power—how they claim it, use it or surrender it. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Love’s thoughts on three mistakes women make when it comes to power in the workplace.

1. They allow their power to be downplayed. Women professionals focus often on relationships. When someone downplays their talents or capabilities, women tend to use valuable emotional and mental capital to react. These kind of empty calorie thoughts prevent women from maximizing what they can control, says Love.

2. They give their power away. Another way women slow their professional growth is worrying too much about what others think about them. Women may hesitate to speak up for fear of what someone else will say about them or they may allow male colleagues to take credit for their ideas. To take back their own power in the workplace, women must remember that feedback is just input. Women get to decide how much of that feedback is true for them.

3. They squander their power. Love points out that women who focus only on positional power squander what they otherwise might leverage. Individuals at all organizational levels can influence outcomes and seed thinking, she says. Love notes that a leader she knows always asks the company receptionist about job candidates she interviews. If the candidate was not respectful or kind to the receptionist, the interview process does not continue.

When it comes to supporting their female colleagues, men can help by actively ask the women on their team about their ideas. When a woman speaks, they can be present and really listen. Men can also help by supporting women’s contributions in the presence of other men. When a female employee is doing most of the work on a client project, for example, men can be intentional about acknowledging the effort.

Think about the women on your sales team—do they let male colleagues take credit for their ideas? Or maybe they don’t feel confident speaking up. Whatever might be the case at your organization, you can help your female employees recognize when they might be stalling their professional growth and take steps to better support them.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Alaina Love is CEO of Purpose Linked Consulting and co-author of The Purpose Linked Organization: How Passionate Leaders Inspire Winning Teams and Great Results.

filed under March 2021
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